Lake Zoar Authority
P.O. Box 931
Southbury, CT 06488
Email: [email protected]
The regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority was held on Monday August 1, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Oxford Town Hall.
Gary Fillion, Chairman
Jerry Kozera, Vice Chairman
Bill May, Treasurer
Chairman Gary Fillion called the meeting to order at 7:01pm.
A correction to last month’s minutes was noted, as Herbert Garber, Commissioner, was named as duplicate Vice Chairman on the July 11, 2022 attendance roster.
A motion to accept the minutes with from the July 11, 2022 minutes, with the correction, was made by Bill May, seconded by Dick Speer; the motion was passed unanimously.
Correspondence and News Clippings:
A clipping from the News Times, submitted by SeaTow, titled “Wearing a Life Jacket can Save Your Life,” was shared. The article, “Lake Zoar Authority Looking To Enhance Safety,” published on July 20, 2022 in the Newtown Bee was shared.
Bill May, Treasurer, presented account balances, with cash on hand equaling $111,576.72. Expenses are in line with the anticipated budget. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was made by Herb Garber, seconded by Barbara McWilliams; the motion was passed unanimously.
Marine Patrol Report:
Dan Semosky reported 102 enforcement actions, consisting of warnings, tickets, and 6 infractions during the month of July, consisting of 21 patrols. The majority of offenses included no PFDs on kayaks and PWCs that were unregistered, or with unlicensed drivers or illegal passengers. Voyages will continue to be terminated for these offenders. There were 5 tows completed by Marine Patrol for disabled boats. Marine Patrol was more aggressive with enforcement actions. On Saturday, July 27, a person was caught fishing in the exclusion zone of the Shepaug Dam and issued a written warning, as state law section 15-121-B13 states, “no person shall operate a vessel within fifteen hundred feet of the downstream side of the Lake Housatonic Dam in Derby or the Shepaug Dam in Southbury,” and signage prohibiting occupation in the area is posted. It is illegal to fish in this area from a boat. There is a fence blocking foot trespassing on FirstLight’s shoreline. More serious enforcement will be taken in the future, including ticketing of a misdemeanor offence. There has been an influx of drivers at night leaving on bright white lights, causing visual obstructions where navigational lights cannot be seen by other boaters. CT Statute section 15-129a, subsection B; Required Authorized Lights, states that “no other lights should be exhibited, except the lights that cannot be mistaken for the navigational lights.” The bright lights cannot be used underway and Marine Patrol will enforce the statute. There were spot checks on the sandbar and state boat launch ramp to inspect every boat coming in for compliance, there were at least 54 boats inspected, 12 which were turned away for being unsafe. In regards to the prior month’s disturbance on the sandbar, the parties involved reported there was closure to the incident and there are no further safety risks. There will be a continued police presence on and near the sandbar going forward. There will be another spot check at the state boat launch in the coming weeks. There were a few rainstorms that brought floating, mechanically sawed wooden logs floating down the lake from north of the Silver Bridge, that needed to be towed out by Marine Patrol. There has been an influx of visitors from upstate visiting Lake Zoar who are unaware of the rules, and violators have been educated. The current price of fuel for the Marine Patrol boats is $5.75 per gallon. If lower cost fuel is available during patrol shifts, it will be purchased at that time. Marine Patrol will continue to patrol randomly at night.
Publicity/ Public Awareness:
Lesley Pires reported that the weekly results of the Cyanobacteria Monitoring program are updated online each week. There is a new page for the Life Jacket Loaner / Donation station on the webpage.
Water Quality / Grants Report:
Gary Fillion, Chairman, reported the first annual weed treatment was performed June 28, 2022. A majority of signs were posted in Monroe and Southern Oxford, with few in Newtown or Southbury. The weed treatment was successful in assigned areas. There will be a post weed treatment survey in the coming weeks to determine if there will be a second treatment. If a second is not necessary, it will not be performed. The Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program at Western Connecticut State University continues this month, with results for the week of July 28, 2022 being 0.129ppb in Eichler’s Cove, 0.188ppb in Jackson’s Cove, and 0.237ppb in Kettletown State Park, meeting the U.S. EPA and CT DPH currently Microcystin threshold of 8.0 parts per billion (ppb; μg/L) for recreational waters. The northern most buoy (#1) is missing from the lake. Marine Patrol has searched for it but it has not been located. A replacement will be ordered. 7 out of 15 have buoys have broken free this year. Two additional buoys will be added on the lake with authorization from CT DEEP, each on the north end and south end of the residential side of the sandbar, to keep boaters away from the shore.
Boats and Motors Report:
Dick Speer reported that the boats are in good working order. Damaged decals will be replaced after the season has ended.
Commissioner Barbara McWilliams reported that the life jackets for the Loaner Station will be in August 15, 2022. Barbara is currently researching which grants the LZA may be eligible for in the upcoming season.
Treasurer, Bill May made a motion to give the Mairne Patrol Coordinator a 10% raise effective the current pay period, seconded by Frank Cavallo; the motion was passed unanimously.
A motion to adjourn was made by Herbert Garber and seconded by Vice Chairman Jerry Kozera The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:15pm.
The minutes are not considered official until approved at the next regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority to be held on September 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Southbury Town Hall.